Genetics of Species Differentiation

What Is Unknown and What Will Be Unknowable?
  • Chung-I Wu
Part of the Evolutionary Biology book series (EBIO, volume 32)


What is the genetic nature underlying species differences? What are the forces driving the genetic divergence? As evolutionists, we may be as much interested in the diversity of life as in, say, the universality of certain biological properties. It will be stated at the outset what I consider may be the limit of our ability to understand the nature of diversity and the forces shaping it. In Science, we strive to deduce the generality of the scheme of things. Physical Sciences have been phenomenally successful in this endeavor. Newtonian mechanics applies equally well to planetary motion, the falling of apples, and the production of sound. The more general a principle is, the more intellectually profound it ought to be. Is it possible that in Biology and especially in evolutionary Biology the more general a principle is, the less profound it would seem? The “limit” I refer to is the paucity of general principles that are intellectually challenging.


Species Differentiation Amino Acid Replacement Population Genetic Variation Amino Acid Polymorphism Base Pair Change 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-I Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and EvolutionUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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